Big name show well-received
By Alexandra Chiasson
Elf starring Will Ferrell and Zooey Deschanel has quickly become one of the most watched and adored comedic Christmas movies! This coming Christmas season, St. Joseph Catholic Academy brought this classic to the stage to sold out audiences! Based on the 2010 Broadway musical adaptation of Elf, St. Joe's told this heartfelt story for the Breakfast with Santa charity show.
High school senior Alex Ambro played the role of Buddy the Elf and shared his feelings towards this year’s Christmas show. Alex has been a part of 12 shows at St. Joe's during his middle school and high school career and he was most excited for this Christmas musical. “This year’s charity performance is different because it is the first time we’ve done a big name show for the Christmas musical and on top of that, it’s a show that everyone knows the story to.”
Playing such a popular character, Alex feels a bit of pressure. However, he expressed a lot of excitement while talking about his role; “My favorite part about being Buddy is that he never really grew up, so I get to be an overgrown child walking the streets of New York City, which is a blast!”
When asked prior to the big show what he would most enjoy about this year’s Christmas musical, Alex responded, “What I'm looking forward to the most is being able to bring to life something that a lot of people know and love, but also putting a new spin on the story of Buddy the Elf.”
And always remember; “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!”
Elf Jr. featured large cast, lots of laughs
By Su Gyeong
Audiences had three chances to catch the Christmas production of Elf Jr., held Dec. 5-6 in the Upper Campus Arneson Auditorium and they arrived in droves as all of the shows were sold out.
Approximately 40 cast members and 25 crew members from grades 6-12 particpated in the show. Rehearsals started in mid-October and continued for seven weeks, four days per week.
The plot of Elf Jr. matches very closely to the plot of the movie Elf which was released in 2003. It is basically about the elf Buddy who was accidently taken to the North Pole as a baby when he snuck into Santa’s toy bag at the orphanage. Raised into adulthood by Santa and his elves, Buddy eventually finds out that he is actually a human and travels to New York City in full elf costume in search of his real father. Despite his denials, Walter Hobbs must accept that he is Buddy’s father when a DNA test confirms it. Walter, his wife Emily, and their son Michael, attempt to create a relationship with the child-like Buddy with increasingly chaotic results.
Director Nikki Pratt, said the show is “a unique experience because it is built around the idea of a community outreach.”
On Sunday, following the public performances, the less privileged members of the community were invited to come and see the show free of charge. They got to sit on Santa’s lap, and received a Christmas gift which for many is the only gift they will receive this holiday. Then, they were allowed to watch the musical and interact with the cast members following the performance. It was a very eye-opening experience for both the cast members and the attendees.
Students participating as the cast and the crew put in countless hours and supreme effort in creating a great show. Moreover, because Nikki knows how hard these students work, she really hoped to have a full house at each performance. “It is promised to be entertaining for all ages with catchy music and dancing, and really seeing Buddy the elf come to life on the SJCA stage," she said prior to the show. She got her wish with sold out shows.
by Martha Lange
It’s Christmas! Well….almost.
Just a couple more weeks until yummy cookies, warm fires, and (hopefully) lots of presents.
Just a couple more weeks, then you can stay up all night and sleep all day.
Just a couple more weeks and then you will be free until next year.
Now is the time of Santa Claus and Christmas tunes. Now is the time of snowmen and hot chocolate. But wait! There is no snow on the ground. There are no freezing cold temperatures in the rigid climate of Wisconsin. It seems it will not be a white Christmas this year.
Never fear! Christmas is more than cookies, presents, and snow days.
Christmas is when Jesus came into the world. As Ms. Halm says, “He is always the same and every year He comes into our hearts in a new way. The best way to celebrate Christmas is to go and celebrate Mass and receive the gifts God has in store for us!”
However, in society today, Christmas has lost its Divine/Holy purpose. It is no more than a day to receive what one asked for. The one thing we must remember is: Christmas is celebrating Christ’s birth. All the cookies, presents and snowmen are extra.
Christmas. Christmas time is near.Time for joy and time for cheer. Even Christmas songs tell you what Christmas is about. It is a joyful time for the world, the Light came for us. Another common misconception about Christmas is that is is only December 25th. Wrong. Christmas lasts for the next 11 days! So don’t be packing away all your Christmas cheer on the 26th.
Trump Baffled: “I Don’t Get It!”
by Jacob Marabelli
A recent poll confirms that Ben Carson is leading Donald Trump by double digits in Iowa. This is the first time since summer that the billionaire businessman, Donald Trump hasn’t led in the polls. The 2016 Iowa Republican Presidential Caucus poll reports Carson at 26 percent and Donald Trump at 22 percent. The person most surprised by the flip flop of poll numbers is the Donald himself.
Trump commented on MSNBC’S “Morning Joe” on Tuesday, “Well, I don’t get it.”
At a rally in Sioux City, Iowa this week, Trump downplayed his falling poll numbers by making comments like, “I’m only a little behind” and “I mean, I am second --it’s not, like, terrible. But I don’t like being second. Second is terrible to me.” He charmingly courted his audience and even pleaded with the people of Iowa to help him get his poll numbers up, something quite foreign for Donald Trump.
The pouty Trump talked a good talk, and played the guilt card, hoping to make the case with the people of Iowa: “I do well with the Evangelicals, but the Evangelicals let me down a little bit, I don’t know what I did.” Trump went on to say, “What the hell are you people doing to me?” Jokingly, he added, “If I lose Iowa, I will never speak to you people again.” Not to worry. Trump will continue talking and making “great” deals with the locals in Iowa until he gets the nomination he needs.
Political experts speculate that Trump might not be conservative enough for Evangelicals in Iowa and possibly too brash and offensive for their tastes. Carson’s gentle and quiet demeanor might make him more appealing to conservatives. Trump’s comments about Carson being a Seventh-Day Adventist might have also distanced him from Evangelicals. Trump joked around, “I’m Presbyterian, Boy, that’s down the middle of the road, folks, in all fairness. I mean, Seventh- Day Adventist, I don’t know about.”
Trump sought to redeem himself at the GOP debate in Boulder, Colorado. His strong suit has always been his arrogance and confidence. He’s going to have to draw upon those strengths again to win over the Evangelicals and public opinion. The one saving grace is that Trump is still leading in other states, but winning Iowa over would be the icing on the cake.
Milwaukee: Since the disastrous debate in Colorado last October, the Republican presidential candidates have asked for reform measures which include less sassy commentating by moderators and more substantive questions. The fourth and most recent debate was held at the Milwaukee Theatre in Milwaukee and attracted quite the national buzz. The debate featured eight candidates vying for the spotlight: Donald Trump, Dr. Ben Carson, John Kasich, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and Carly Fiorina.
Donald Trump came out pitching his usual policy on illegal immigration reform stating, “Mexico is going to pay for the wall, and they will be happy about it.”
Trump even had an “I told you so moment” with the recent ruling by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to block President Obama’s executive orders to shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation.
Former Governor Kasich of Ohio immediately went on the offensive, calling Trump’s plan to build a wall and deport millions of illegal immigrants, “just plain ridiculous.” Jeb Bush also got into the foray and called Trump’s immigration plans, “unconstitutional and going against American values.” The only thing more ridiculous is Jeb Bush’s lackluster performance that might eliminate him from the next GOP debate. The Bush family name and money might not be able to salvage his “Jeb Can Fix it Campaign.”
As for the rest of the candidates, Marco Rubio was impassioned and fiery as always and Ted Cruz was his usual vocal self, criticizing the IRS tax codes for having “more words than the Bible.” Rand Paul of Kentucky talks a good talk and has an excellent business acumen, but his stage presence is too small to compete with the likes of Donald Trump. Ben Carson, the soft-spoken doctor is holding his own, but is facing criticism over inconsistencies about his past. Carson fired back, by saying, “I have no problem being vetted. What I do have a problem with is being lied about.” It seems that Carson’s slow and steady campaign is keeping pace with his less than energetic personality.
All in all, none of the candidates had a breakout moment. For the most part, the candidates tried to behave and moderators stuck to a staid line of questioning. But the viewer has to admit, the most entertaining part of the evening was watching Trump’s antics. Trump in his usual blunt fashion accused Fiorina of constantly buting in. Fiorina, being the only woman in the GOP debate tried to elbow her way through all the testosterone on stage and make a name for herself.
For the most part both Trump and Carson kept their frontrunner status, Rubio and Cruz had a strong night and the fate of the rest of the candidates has yet to be decided. For those of you that can’t get enough of Donald Trump and friends, mark your calendars for December for the next Gop debate in Las Vegas.
OPINION REVIEWS, EDITORIALS, MISC.
Stick It is a teen drama worth seeing
By Delaney Feest
If you’re looking for a good fun movie to watch that’s kind of sporty while also being a drama with some funny parts I have the perfect movie for you. The movie is Stick It, directed by
Jessica Bendinger. If you have never seen this movie you need to watch it before you die. You haven’t truly lived until you see it!
The main protagonist, Hayley Gram, quit gymnastics after walking out of worlds causing team USA to lose the gold medal. She refused to ever go back. She then spends her time riding
bikes, and getting into trouble with her two best friends.
After getting in some trouble with the law for breaking and entering, the judge, who also happens to be her best friend’s mom, gives her two options: Texas Military Academy, or a facility called VGA which stands for Vickerman’s Gymnastics Academy. The very thing she didn't want to do, she’s forced to.
She starts trouble when she first arrives. VGA is a place where girls can spend their days working on new skills or cleaning up old ones. Because the girls stay there, they have to do their
own independent study. Hayley’s enemy, Joanne, makes a comment about how she never studies. Hayley then answers with, “I got my GED when I was 16.” Joanne then makes herself look extremely stupid by saying, “And what does drunk driving have to do with school?”
This movie is extremely funny while still being a sport drama. If you have never seen this movie you had better get on it. As I said before, you haven’t lived until you see this movie. Not
only is it absolutely amazing, but it appeals to many different types of people. You don’t have to be a gymnast to love the movie. In fact, many of my friends love watching the movie and they
have never once stepped into a gym with gymnastics equipment.
Concussions: they’re a real headache
by Mady Scopp
Each year, between four and five million concussions occur in America. These traumatic brain injuries predominantly occur as a result of car accidents. Another major cause. however, is sports.
The three pound brain is encompassed inside a bony structure called the skull. A contusion occurs when the brain swells and bruises as a result of a brain injury. Axonal shearing occurs due to the impact forces of a concussion. The communication between neurons starts to break down as a result of the damaged axons. The torn axons release toxic neurotransmitters, which causes many of the surrounding neurons to die. This worsens the initial effects of the concussion. Brain damage can occur for hours or even days following the injury.
It is important to know and recognize the symptoms concussions produce. The most common symptoms of a concussion are a headache and pressure in the head, a temporary loss of consciousness, confusion, amnesia, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. If one believes they have a concussion, they should be examined by a doctor or taken to the emergency room.
The instructions the doctor gives to the patient often include withdrawal from sports, rest, limiting the time spent looking at screens, and a pain reliever to treat headaches. Athletes should not return to physical activity if diagnosed with a concussion. If an athlete returns to a sport before a concussion has healed, they could potentially receive another blow to the head known as second impact syndrome. When second impact syndrome takes place, it can result in rapid and fatal brain swelling.
Due to the severity of this injury and the significance of the brain, concussions are taken very seriously. Unfortunately, these injuries cannot be completely averted but there are preventative measures that can be taken. The use of imPACT baseline tests have shown to be beneficial through the measuring of the brain’s abilities before a sport season begins.
If suspicions of a concussion arise, or if one wants to be cleared of a concussion they may retake the imPACT test and compare the scores. Some other ways to prevent damage to the brain would be wearing a seatbelt and wearing a concussion helmet in contact sports such as basketball and soccer.
Cyberbullying hits at a personal level
by McKenna Johnson
Cyberbullying is a rather new problem in our society that is on an unfortunate rise. With more people being online, more hurtful things will be said and more people will feel the effect of it. It’s a legitimate problem. Some people say “oh just walk away,” but they don’t understand that it isn’t something easy to walk away from. Why should you not be able to enjoy the fine websites offered to you?
Because people decide to be rude and ignorant! Plain and Simple this needs to be brought to a stop, and I’m here to offer solutions on how to do so.
You may ask yourself as to why cyberbullying needs to be addressed in a serious manner? Why don’t internet companies just block the account on the said social media website?
It’s not that simple really. Cyberbullying goes beyond that. Multiple people will do it, pages will be made. Examples being like, “We Hate McKenna.” It has like 100 likes for instance. You take that personally. It’s no fun. You are constantly harassed and it impairs your ability to really enjoy your youth, and stay updated with others on social media.
Another startling fact about cyberbullying is that it causes more suicidal thoughts compared to kids who are just regularly bullied. Thanks to a study done by David McNamee in the Netherlands this shocking revelation has come to the public’s attention. People think this is because of the widespread reach of cyberbullying in nanoseconds.
The final point that can be made is that there isn’t much attention towards it. There are plenty of therapy options for those who are bullied but for those who are cyberbullied? Well the therapies for bullying victims don’t always translate well. It’s a totally different ball game that isn’t being given enough attention to.
In conclusion, I have one simple solution. Don’t stand by and watch it happen. HELP. Do something. You have a voice so use it. Don’t let someone be harassed unmercifully. Let them know that someone cares and is on their side. It can’t always be so one-sided. Make a difference, don’t just wonder if you “could’ve made a difference.”
Top 10 Disney movies to watch during the Holiday season!
by Lucy Hartnell
It is safe to say that lots of people would like to watch a Disney movie at any time of the year. But it’s certainly a special feeling watching a Disney movie with loved ones during the holiday season.
These Disney Christmas features essentially teach lessons about the true meaning of Christmas, and how the bond between family and friends is so important. Showing care to others and unselfish giving are also major themes in these movies as well. Whether families range from small children to grandmas and grandpas, Disney movies never fail to provide magical entertainment for all ages.
I’m going to give my personal list of Top 10 Disney movies to definitely watch with your family and friends as we enter the holiday season.
10) Good Luck Charlie, It’s Christmas
Starring the characters from the Disney Channel series, Good Luck Charlie, this story follows the Duncan family as they journey from Denver to Palm Springs to visit their grandparents.
9) Santa Buddies
Young pups, called The Buddies, have lost their Christmas spirit, until Santa Paws makes a visit. The Buddies realize their mistakes, and become determined to help save the Christmas spirit for everyone.
8) Santa Clause 2: The Mrs. Clause
Scott Calvin, whose alternate identity is Santa Clause, must go back home and find a wife, or a Mrs. Clause, in order to continue his role in time for Christmas Day.
7) Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas
Combines three enchanting Disney movies with Donald Duck and his nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, Goofy and his son, Max, and Mickey and Minnie. They all teach about selfless giving, and what it means to have true Christmas spirit.
6) Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas
This magical sequel picks up where the beloved characters left off in the original, but goes into “flashback” mode, telling the story of why Christmas was forbidden to be celebrated in the castle, and how the rule was overturned.
5) Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
Santa Claus is very busy running the North Pole and taking care of his family. But when Jack Frost causes trouble around the world, Santa has to make everything right again and show what Christmas is all about.
4) The Santa Clause
Scott Calvin finds meaning in his life when he is responsible for carrying out the duties of Santa Clause. The only problem is whether anyone will believe him or not.
3) The Nightmare Before Christmas
The two holidays of Halloween and Christmas are intertwined in this Tim Burton production as the characters encounter unlikely scenarios, which gives an unexplainable “feel” on the whole story.
2) Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas
This holiday classic includes meaningful stories with the return of Donald and his nephews, Goofy and Max, and Mickey and Minnie. With a couple special Disney reindeer involved, all the characters learn that there’s more to Christmas than receiving gifts.
1) A Christmas Carol
In this tale, Ebenezer Scrooge, who doesn’t care for anyone, learns the true meaning of Christmas as he is swept on a thrilling journey on Christmas Eve by three ghosts.
Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and “may all your dreams come true!”
Just me and my little blog down here....
(And my strange but true medical oddity)
by Alex Munoz
Checking back in... on the eve of finals and Christmas. The beginning of basketball season is upon us and it couldn’t be any more tedious. Being a veteran of 4 years on the varsity team, I have come accustomed to the down and backs, numerous drills, and sore muscles. However, this past year has been short of easy on my body, literally, and all thanks to... you guessed it, basketball.
In late January of this year, after a fall from basketball, I began to have some lower back pain. Being used to aches, I ignored it and just continued on as normally, but then it started to get worse. My mother, thinking she is the next Dr. Oz, took me to the chiropractor to get my back cracked. Being my first time being there, they wanted to take some X-rays of my back! We got the results back and on the second slide there was teeth in my pelvis!
Both I, the chiropractor, and my mom were stunned. Being confused at to why there was teeth in my PELVIS, my mom went out and found numerous doctors to help diagnosis my strange disorder. So, we found a doctor in Illinois and my teeth finally had a name... a dermoid cyst, being of 25 centimeters stuck in my left ovary. Now I can’t stress how much pain this brought to me and the effects it had. I couldn’t even sit down in class the pain was so bad.
Finally, after 2 months of tests, preparation, March 19th rolled around and it was time for surgery. This being my surgery, I was scared, but happy that the pain would be gone. The dreaded IV came and OF COURSE, my vein didn’t take the IV and I almost passed out. So, after screaming and crying I was finally knocked out. Three hours later, it was done. The recovery process, however, was not the best. I was out of school for a month and lost 15lb within 1 week... not a bad dieting plan. BUT, I got better and was able to return to school!
You would think the pain would be gone and I would be top notch, but summer had different plans for me. Why? Because, that’s my life! Let's pick this up when I return in the New Year....MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Boys hoopsters eyeing trip to state
With a fast-paced and unblemished start to the season, the St. Joseph Catholic Academy boys basketball team is on a journey the team hopes ends with a trip to the state finals. The team boasts great experience coming into the year with five returning seniors and two who couldn't play the previous year,
The Lancers are led by a returning junior, DeAndre Johns, who is a two-time all conference, two-time all county, and honorable mention all-state selection. Johns has a younger cousin, Matthew Brown, an incoming freshman looks to make an impact his first year on the team.
The Lancers traveled to Shorewood to shake off the rust in some practice games to open the season. “We are looking to build chemistry this weekend and make sure we are communicating well so we are ready for the game against Vincent next week,” said senior David Jamison prior to the tournament.
The Lancers who are ranked 8th in the state in the preseason polls by Wisconsin Yearbook website then faced a well-rounded Vincent team at the Klotsche Center in Milwaukee for a showcase game in the Fresh Coast classic.
SJCA coach Jose Winston, in his 6th year of coaching, was an outstanding player at Vincent and when asked about playing his high school for the first game he laughed and said, “It is what it is, we are going to have to come out and play, but trust me it isn’t going to be perfect, we are going to have to fix some things here and there.”
Among the underclassmen, the Lancers turn to sophomore Sergio Nanu who is 6-7 and is long and length; he looks to be the rim protector for the Lancers and is going to make a huge difference on the defensive end.
“Adding Sergio to the mix helps everyone out greatly because for one, you know he can block shots so we will always have help and that takes a lot of pressure off of us on defense; two, we can drop it into him in the post and re-locate for the three; and, finally, Sergio adds possessions for us because of his length he will get rebounds underneath,” said Senior Dylan Richter.
Grapplers gettin’ underway
by Grace Kalinka
The sport in which two people try to grab, force, and pin each other to the ground is here. The St. Joseph Catholic Academy boys wrestling team has already taken to the mat with their first meet and tournaments for the winter season. Will these boys have a successful season as in past year’s? Let's get the scoop.
Last year, three of the boys advanced to sectionals. Senior Patrick Rafferty, junior Jack Baldwin, and junior William Pechous. Only Baldwin returns from that group but still the goal is high. Said junior Joshua Moser, “Yes, we have high hopes this year; some individuals will go to state.” He further added, “My goal this year is to make it to state.” The 17- pound wrestler is the varsity captain for the wrestling team and also the varsity football captain. That’s a good look at leadership right there!
The one other varsity captain is Baldwin, a 160-pound-senior. These boys prepare for dual meets and tournaments by practicing six days a week for 2 ½ hours each day. Their practices consist of lifting, technique, and live wrestling. Coach Chad Warnock gives all the boys a challenge each day to strive to be better. Interesting enough,
Warnock has been coaching at St. Joe’s for 16 years. Warnock and assistant coach Brett Morrow have a small squad of 12 dedicated wrestlers. “We encourage kids to tryout for wrestling and come join the team. It’s a great experience,” said Coach Warnock.
Well, St Joe students, check out the wrestling team and support them this winter season!
Lady Lancers looking to repeat as Conference Champs despite being small in numbers
by Erin Hettinger
As the 2015 winter sports season rolls in, there is excitement and anticipation to what will become of the Lady Lancers basketball team this year.
This year’s varsity team of only 10 players consists of 6 seniors: Alex Munoz, Jalah Harris, Lindsey Thomas, Jacori Witt, Starletta Keene, and Katie Antony. There are four juniors on the team as well: Niara Collins and Sidney Cooks who are returning for their third year, and Rachel Genuine and Megan Smith playing their first full year on varsity.
With an early start to the season, the girl’s basketball team started their practices weeks ago. They have been practicing since early November with a scrimmage that first weekend in Madison and their first game on Tuesday, November 24.
The team and coach have a very positive outlook on what the season holds. The Lady Lancers basketball team has had very big seasons the past two years. Being second in conference two years ago and first last year, the team is very excited for another chance to prove themselves and hopefully bring home the conference title again this year.
After the past two years of having the team’s hopes of making it to state crushed in regional finals, they are eager and hopeful they will be playing in Green Bay at state this season. With the whole starting lineup even more experienced and returning for another season, the team is much more confident that their hardwork and dedication will pay off and this will be the year they reach the state level of competition.
Senior Lindsey Thomas is most looking forward to “seeing where this season takes us,” but is optimistic that they will get far into the playoff brackets and hopefully bring home a state title. Junior Niara Collins also thinks the team has a very promising chance of making it very far into the playoffs, adding, "the team just needs to focus on playing as one team because that is the only way we will be able to reach our ultimate goal of state.”
As many of the varsity players are seniors, this season is definitely bittersweet. Senior and captain Alex Munoz said that she is most going to miss, “all the memories I’ve made over the years, but it will also be awesome to move on and take the skills I’ve learned on the court into the real world and college!” We wish the best to the whole team and are eager to see where this season takes them!
Who Runs The World? The SJCA girls cross country team!
by Louisa Fredriksson
Girls. Girls run the world. More specifically, the Saint Joseph Catholic Academy girls cross country team runs the world. For the past four seasons, the St. Joe’s female runners have claimed the conference crown. They have sent their top runner, Madelyn Scopp, to the state meet each of the past four seasons, and the whole team has joined her for three of those four. After winning the Kenosha county meet with almost the entire team running at a personal best, many were wondering what makes this team so fast. What’s the secret? Well, it’s really not that much of a secret.
Running is a sport that takes a large amount of self-determination. Someone can only get good at running, especially distance running, through running countless miles. This is something that senior, Mady Scopp, knows all too well. “You get out of it what you put into it. So if you put in a lot of time and effort, then you can expect great results,” said Scopp.
Several times a season, the team can be spotted running through heavy downpours, scorching heat, dense humidity, or freezing cold temperatures, and it certainly pays off. Megan Marciniak, another senior, said that most of her teammates run during the off season, and some run about 300 miles. In addition, many of her teammates regularly participate in 5ks. A few even participated in a half marathon in August.
The girls all agree that the biggest factor in their success is their coach Jon Furreness. Despite coaching cross country for 21 years, he’s an active coach, always running alongside his teams. The girls interviewed had nothing but positive things to say about him. Mikaela Grosz, a junior, enthusiastically proclaimed that he is the “best coach ever,” and she followed up her claim by saying, “[Coach] spends so much time and puts in so much effort to make sure that we all have the best opportunity and experience possible.” Mady Scopp is convinced that “the best part of being on the team is … getting to be coached by Coach Furreness for four years.” The girls have found a strong role model in their coach, and no one on the team thinks they’d be anywhere without him.
One of the most touching parts of watching this team is observing how close the girls have all become. Every young lady on the team that was interviewed mentioned the tight-knit, familial bond they all have formed. Mikaela used her interview to give a shout out to a teammate who recently ran a personal best. Megan stated over and over that she has found a family in her teammates. The girls often have group texts running, and the messages range from praises to bagel orders. Since these runners spend well over 10 hours a week sweating and laughing together, they have a lot to talk about. For the seniors, this circle of friends is going to be one of the hardest things to leave after graduation.
The work ethic, the coach, and the team have all contributed to the success of this team. However, there’s no denying the girls are just plain fast. Through various workouts, speed-training, distances, and diets, these girls have perfected the art of decreasing their running time while increasing their leg speed.
The Lady Lancers certainly have found a way to leave their mark at St. Joe’s, and it’s doubtful that they’ll be slowing down any time soon. Hopefully, “PACK ATTACK!” will still be yelled long after this season is over.
Attitude the difference in improved football team
by Jeremiah Madden
What a difference a year makes.
In 2014, the Kenosha St. Joseph Lancers football team went 3-6 overall, but 3-4 in conference. They did not make it to the playoff that year, after making it to the playoff for the past four or five years. You might ask what happened that year? Was it a bad team overall, or just a good team with pieces missing from the puzzle.
This past season, the Lancers went 6-4 including one playoff game. The team went 6-1 in conference and had a playoff game, unfortunately losing to their rivals St.Catherine’s. A couple of players and the head coach were asked what happened in that 2014 season, and how they improved in just one year.
How was the team chemistry in the 2014? Head coach Jim Kenesie, in a stern manner,said, “I felt our team chemistry was very poor. I didn’t feel like the 2014 team was ever working towards the same goal. I think there were too many people that put themselves ahead of a team.” A team with poor chemistry and a bunch of individuals is a losing team, in the people’s eyes, and coaches everywhere. Kenesie added, “This makes winning very difficult and that compounded our team’s dysfunction.”
I asked him how did the chemistry from this season differed from last season, and with a happy response he said, “The kids believed in each other, each had one common goal. The practice environment was also positive and our leaders did a nice job of setting expectations and holding each other accountable.” Those right there are three things to succes, good leadership, high intensity in practice, and belief in one another. Coach Jim also talked about how the offseason was a big contribution to the turnaround season.
Junior leader and wide receiver Colin Antonneau felt like the chemistry was strong, “but wasn't anything truly special.” There was always someone turning on a player or a coach, he noted.Still, it was a memorable year, noted Antonneau: “This was one of the best teams I’ve ever played one. Everyone was a family. No one could break us apart.” The team was unified. That’s a winning caliber team.
The Lancers enjoyed great success in the 2015 season. They lost the first two games, and everyone doubted them: administration, parents, friends, and everyone in Kenosha. They then won six straight games, beating their #1 rival in St. Catherine’s and in doing so ending St. Catherine’s 28-game conference win streak.
The Lancers were determined in the 2015 season, and they’ll never forget the offseason leading up to it: waking up at 5:30 in the morning in the winter for workouts, and summer workouts 8-10 in the morning. The Lancers also enjoyed golf outings, hanging out at Buffalo Wild Wings after games and just building team chemistry to make connections stronger.
Opinion Reviews, Editorials, Misc.
Christmas is the best time of the year!
by Alexandria Munoz
Hang those stockings and trim those trees... That’s right! It’s Christmas! I’ve always been the one to be of the Christmas spirit, but what about you!? This upcoming season is going to be jam packed with holiday cheer, and I got the perfect itinerary for you! It seems St. Joe’s is in full Christmas mode! Things got off to a great start with the annual Christmas show! This year’s show, Elf Jr., goes down as an instant holiday classic here at St. Joe’s!
When in Kenosha, celebrate the holidays as the Kenoshaians do! Tis the season to explore! Kenosha is the perfect place to celebrate the whole month of December! From Christmas lane lights to Christmas shopping at the Prime Outlets, to much much more! Click this link to explore all the different holiday options that Kenosha has to offer this holiday season! http://www.visitkenosha.com/events/all?date_filter%5Bmin%5D%5Bdate%5D=2015-12-01&date_filter%5Bmax%5D%5Bdate%5D=2015-12-25
During the busiest season of the year, one can lose track of what really matters. I took it upon myself to go around school and ask my fellow classmates what really makes Christmas special for them. “I love christmas because it’s time away from school and time with family,” said Bri Patterson. This goes to show that the holidays are about being close to those you love!
“People forget the true meaning of the holiday. It’s supposed to celebrate the birth of our lord and savior Jesus Christ,” said senior Mariesa Jones. Emphasizing the phrase “Jesus is the reason for the season” and bringing that humble and elated feeling back into our hearts throughout the holidays.
As for being a Christmas enthusiast myself, (yes I am that person playing Christmas music even before Thanksgiving), I think I can speak for everyone when I say Christmas just brings this sense of joy from within and exuberates all month long. From the smell of cookies, to hanging up lights, and cuddling up by the fire... Christmas is truly the most wonderful time of the year!
Cell phone use and the age of distraction
by DeAndre Johns
There is a steadily growing problem in the world with teenagers abusing their cell phones. It starts with teens using it at home and even during class while the teacher is teaching. This has become a major issue in many schools across the United States. While there are many good reasons for using your cell phone to do work and communicate in much faster ways, the problems need to be addressed.
The first problem is the fact that cell phones take away from your time to do work. You are on your cell phone when you could possibly be getting homework done and then not have any homework, but instead you are on your cell phone wasting time. As Eric Thomas once said, “If you give up your cell phone, then you will be successful." I agree with this completely!
Some people are literally on their phones from sunrise to sunset. They think that they have to talk to someone at all times. I guarantee if you take away cell phones, teenagers will be able to complete homework and have better social skills than we do nowadays. I can be non-social when it comes to events where I am on my phone; I have always had a problem being shy but being on my phone was not helping me meet new people at all. Once we start limiting the time on our cell phones we could be able to meet new people and our communication skills will rocket off the chart.
A simple solution to this problem is turning off our cell phones when we aren't supposed to be on them so that we aren't hearing the notification sounds when someone is trying to contact us. Other times we could actually out our cell phones to good use by doing our work on them and getting it done much faster than using our computers. If we actually used our phones for productive work then being on our cell phones wouldn't be a problem at all.
Overall, being on our cell phones is still a major problem and it won’t be resolved any time soon. We must face reality. Cell phone abuse is going to get worse and we aren't going to be able to do anything about it because technology is growing more advanced every day. Even our watches are now phones. Eyeglasses have phone features and we won't soon even be able to tell when people are on their phones. We just have to live with the fact that cell phone usage will be a problem until we take the time to address it in a mature manner and tackle it as the serious problem it is becoming.
Cost of pro tickets are pricing too many fans out
by Eric Sipiora
One of the best feelings in the world is seeing that amazing goal or touchdown in person. Seeing that has to be one of the most satisfying things I know. But to see these exploits on the athletic field you will easily pay in the hundreds. But then there is also the die hard fans who buy season tickets and see all those goals their team scores. But are these tickets getting too expensive? One season ticket to an Arsenal game in London is almost $3,000. Season tickets to the Seattle Seahawks game ranges from $2,000 dollars to $3,000. Is this getting too expensive for the average sports fan?
One CEO of a soccer team recently said, “We could charge more than £104. Let's say we charged £300. We'd get £2m more in income but what's £2m to us?” That was the Bayern Munich CEO, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. He works for one of the biggest teams from around the world. With such a big team he knows how to make a profit and in the 2014/2015 season they recorded a profit of £24.1 million. If they can make a profit off of that why do other teams charge so much.
Sports teams make millions every season, so why do the charge so much? Simply because they can. No one is going to stop them because what else will the consumer fan watch instead? As you go from the EPL to the NFL to the MLB to the NHL they are the top of the line. They will keep charging the prices they do because no one will stop them. The government of any country sure won’t because of all the money sports generates in tax dollars while boosting the local economies. The government makes millions if not billions yearly.
In 2014 the poverty line was hovering at 14 percent. While this has been the same, ticket prices are not going down. So many of the die hard fans who want to see games can not. They just don’t have the means or money to buy these season tickets. As interest in a sport rises, so does the the ticket price. Many fans are left in the cold because they can never pay for such tickets. And with that 14 percent making up almost 46 million citizens, teams need to realize that the lower class makes up a big part of the crowd they attract.
Can these huge ticket prices be sustained over the long haul? One would think that the prices would have to go down sooner or later or too many people are going to be priced out of the market for good. It’s getting to be almost cheaper to get a season ticket rather than buying a TV pass. One wonders if teams lowered the price how might their profits grow? Would the additional fans make up for a price shortfall?
Students and Work: A double-edged Sword
by Luz Chavez-Gutierrez
Working is a good way to build a young person’s character. Working many hours, however, while trying to balance studies at the same time results in role conflict; it leaves a multitude of students exhausted and is often detrimental to their health and grades.
In a recent survey I administered, I asked the seniors of Saint Joseph Catholic Academy (SJCA) if they worked during the school time, how many hours a week they worked and if so how it affected them. I was able to obtain answers from the entire population of the 75 students in the senior year; the results I found were that around 41% of seniors had jobs. The average hours the working students were able to manage were about 15 to 25 hours a week (with few exceptions).
The common answers of the students with jobs with few anomalies were that while earning money was great, it left them tired and sleep deprived. There were many factors that could’ve affected the students such as the workload of the class, the difficulty of the class, and their time management skills. A couple of students felt that although they were exhausted and “tired all the time, working is a great responsibility to have.”(as noted by Mallek K.), they felt more independent, responsible, and productive because of their work.
The few anomalies I encountered throughout my interviewing process were that some kids were not affected at all from working 15-20 hours a week. A commonality between the students that didn’t feel affected from their work was that they all stated that they had great time management skills: “I get money and finish all of my homework,” said Jacori Witt. It seems that the key to having a balanced schedule between work and school is to have superb time management skills.
The 59% of seniors who didn’t work gave good reasons as to why they didn’t have a job. The common reason was “I had other commitments like volleyball, and I didn’t think I had the time to have one,” said Collins L. The people who don’t have a job are not indolent but are rather focusing their attention on other activities elsewhere.
Working is a great way to teach an individual the value of money, responsibility, and improve their time management skills. From the results of my survey I’ve concluded that the seniors of Saint Joseph are hardworking, well-rounded individuals and I’m very proud to call them my classmates.
Technology in the Classroom Not Always Beneficial and widely abused
by Chloe Crowe
Using technology in the classroom seems like a great idea because we live in a digital world. But when using the technology in a classroom setting, one begins to realize it may not be all that we’ve been led to believe.
Technology is extremely distracting. Technology is distracting, it always crashes, and you can google all of your homework. Technology has done nothing for me in the classroom except teach me how to take the easy way out of things, which is not what we should be teaching our students.
In each class, every day, there are at least six students playing video games on their laptops, browsing social media, shopping online, doing other homework, or something other than doing what they are supposed to be doing. Not only is this a problem for their education/grades, but it is teaching students that it is okay to disrespect and ignore who is talking to you/teaching you. Most students don’t mean it out of disrespect, but when you have such easy access to anything and everything online, it’s hard not to search the web. When students aren’t even paying attention, what’s the point in being in that class?
Technology always crashes. Whenever you actually need it, it crashes. I’ve lost so much class time because the teacher’s projector crashed, or my computer crashed right before a test, or my teacher cannot figure out how to do something on their computer. Then you have to go to the IT people and have them fix it and that always takes forever. It’s such a waste of time and a problem that is so easily avoidable by just not having so much technology in the classroom.
Another reason why technology in the classroom is not beneficial is because you can google anything. You can type in a question on your homework assignment and find all of the answers to every question online. What is that teaching students? You don’t even have to know any material you’ve learned in class, everything is online. There is no point in going to class and sitting there for an hour if everything you need to know can be copied and pasted into your homework assignment. This is making students incapable of doing things on their own. As a student, I can honestly say I have relied on Google and Yahoo! Answers for many of my homework assignments since 7th grade. It’s taking the easy way out of your responsibilities as a student, and that isn’t going to help students in college.
Technology in the classroom has taken away the true purpose of education. Everything is so easy now and if technology is teaching students anything, it is that Google knows everything.!
Of course knowing how to use technology is a great thing, but if it is in the classroom it should be used for the right reasons. When I asked many students what do they like the most about having technology in the classroom, a lot of them said, “having something to do in class when you’re bored.” Technology should not be used for something to do when you’re bored in class, and if that is what students think it is given to them for, something needs to change.
Choosing a college: It’s about location, size and curriculum
by Brianna Patterson
One of the most important decisions in a young adult’s life is choosing where to go to college. College education affects the rest of your life and weighing in on a specific
college has to be done carefully and insightfully. There are essentially three factors that go into choosing the right college and those factors are location, size, and academic curriculum.
Location is the first step into choosing which college best fits. I would prefer to live in a city because of the life it brings along with it. I have lived in cold climate weather all my life so Chicago would not be anything new to me and I could adapt easily to the surroundings.
Like many students, I would prefer to meet in the middle when it comes to being near my family. Being away but also having enough distance to reach them whenever I need to is what Chicago’s location would provide.
The second step in choosing where to go is size. My high school experience was small compared to the average public schools in Kenosha. I have grown accustomed to small class sizes and knowing most students, but being in those classes made me curious and want to explore a larger environment. I love the idea of being around new faces and different surroundings to encounter instead of seeing the same people and things regularly.
On the other hand, I understand that with a larger class comes the high possibility of less attention received from the teacher due to the size of student population. I would make the effort to go to the teacher personally to make known that I did need help or a better understanding and only knowing a select group of students is more realistic than knowing the entire student class.
Lastly, in order to choose the right college it is good to know and decide what you intend to study. Loyola offers all major courses that I’m interested in studying in, with a large selection size in different classes.
Loyola is the school for those who wish to thrive, explore, and succeed. This school offers many opportunities that I feel is just right for me and my interest in fulfilling the right steps towards adulthood and life in general.
Choosing the right college takes time and effort. Once the decision for location, size, and curriculum have been determined, it’s time to take the next step in the right direction. When making such a big decision knowing that you are in good hands with the right college is always satisfying. Loyola provides all things right for me and this is why I am choosing Loyola. Good luck in your search!
Police need to use more non-lethal force
by Raul Chavez
For as long as this great country has been in existence one of the biggest domestic problems has been discrimination; more specifically, racial discrimination. I think that for a long period it hadn’t been as much out in the forefront, but as of late tempers have flared and chaos has ensued. This is due in large part to the suspicious deaths of certain members of the African American community, generally involving excessive force by the police.
It’s a problem. That is a strong belief of mine. I feel that as of late people have been less willing to accept their actions and learn from their mistakes. In general I talk about the incredibly trigger happy police officers of the United States. It has been reported that filed misconduct charges against police have risen, and not only that but the most common has been excessive force, a decent percentage of that being fatal. This also needs to be dealt with because it has caused great unrest in several communities.
Riots and protests have occurred over the deaths of several people. Social Media Campaigns such as the “I Can’t Breathe” campaign (made in reference to Eric Garner a 43-year-old African American father who was brought to the ground by a police officer and had said I can’t breathe to the police officers before turning limp and dying at the hospital hours later) have shed more light onto the real problem, that people are becoming paranoid and worried and have begun to fear the police more, which isn’t good.
The final argument is that this is costing our government way too much money. Going back to the example of Eric Garner, the officer who killed Eric had been cleared of all charges much to the outrage of many, and subsequently the State of New York had paid the Garner family $5.9 million dollars. That is an absurd amount of money for a situation that could’ve easily been avoided, but it wasn’t. We complain about our deficit yet we feed that beast even more.
So I propose a very simple solution. We need to rebuild the reputation of police officers and tone down the use of lethal force in our country. Out of all the cases that have been made about the deaths caused by police officers, I felt that most could’ve been dealt with with non-lethal force (i.e, Tasers, Pellets, Pepper Spray) and things of that extent. Let’s stop separating ourselves by race, let us be unified and be one country. One great beautiful country.
Cell phone reliance hurting kids
by Grace Kalinka
This is the age of technology. Our generation is exposed to technology every day. Being able to advance in technology has been no doubt an advantage in our world. This increase in knowledge allows us to connect with friends and family, conserves more energy and produce more goods, and it save lives.
With so many pros, there are cons as well. Yes, I said technology usage is
an advantage, but when there comes good, there is bad along with it. There are kids who use ipads/phones/ tablets once they have the ability to move around. Instead of playing outside and engaging in free play, kids are clamoring for games on a technology device.
Having a smartphone starts at a young age: “56% of children, age 8 to 12, have a cellphone,” according to the NCL. Many kids and teenagers are given a smartphone because it’s the new “normality”. With the advancement in technology, yes it is normal to have a smartphone. Smartphones are not the problem, however, the over usage is the problem. Look around and how many people will you see using their cell phone instead of talking. Cell phone usage has increased and it isn't being noticed.
A smart phone is very useful when connecting with people, finding restaurants or
activities to do, or even when in a crisis. It’s awesome that we can have a device that can do way more than the computers they had going to the moon (Apollo 11). With these phones at our fingertips it’s so easy to get distracted. You could go hours on a smartphone and not even know the time went by. The problem is overusing your cell phone at the expense of public interactions.
A person using their phone when they can communicate with others around them is a social tragedy in some respects. Many may disagree because they haven’t noticed, but I agree that communication skills have degraded. Many cannot hold a conversation because they lack the ability to stand in front of a person, look in their eyes, and speak to them. Communication has become texting, facebooking, instagramming, etc.
Smart phone usage has created dependence on a device. This dependence has decreased the interest in learning things manually and listening to others and put many at risk for becoming too reliant on it. The internet is not without many flaws and is often inconsistent in its accessibility.
Theoretically, what if all technology crashes (all cell phones, computers, TV’s, etc)? What would many do? That dependence on the device has created a gap in terms of basic knowledge—knowledge in things that require common sense and how things used to be. Many teens, overly dependent upon on their cell phones, lack basic survival skills.
In conclusion, cell phone usage may negatively impact society. Yes, there are many positive impacts, but kids having a cell phone at a young age has its disadvantages. This will not be easy to correct, but with determination it can began to slowly change. As a whole, people need to recognize how much they use their cell phone. Once the problem is identified, change can happen. After recognition, kids, teens, and even adults need to become better educated on the many pros and cons of cell phone use.
Don’t forget your local animal shelter this holiday season
by Martha Lange
Everyone knows about those sad, heart-wrenching commercials with the goal of getting people to donate to their charity. Those commercials about starving children halfway around the world, asking for only 60 cents a day. Then there are the research for cancer charities and pro-life charities that only ask people to walk for them. Even animal shelters have charity walks or raffles to aid them.
But why can it be so difficult for people to donate money to their local animal shelter? Any and all campaigns are vocal, visual, and aggressive. An example of this type of campaign is the ASPCA advertisements that flash up pictures of malnourished and abused dogs. These advertisements, these charities, are the ones that people get caught on. A lot of possible donors forget about the smaller, local charities that need support, too.
Charity campaigns are always aimed directly at a person’s pathos, or their emotions, like an arrow straight to the center of the bullseye. The advertisements are a perfect concoction of adorable mixed in with sympathy the target should feel if they haven’t/don’t donate to that campaign. They use guilt. It’s all psychological; but it works.
Donating to charities is a great way to spend money. However, you can’t look at donating as “just another way” to spend money. When you donate money to a charity, you are supporting the charity (directly or indirectly) and telling the charity you are okay with and agree with what they are doing. The donor should be aware of who, why, and for what, they are donating their money.
A local animal shelter (in Kenosha) is Safe Harbor Humane Society located on 781160th Ave. Safe Harbor has dogs, cats, and other small animals who are just waiting for more support. Safe Harbor makes donations simple with their online donation form. They have fundraising events, like raffles and can collections. Animal organizations even have a free app,called Walk For A Dog, that works on iPhones and Androids. If you have the app, every time you walk, they will donate money to Safe Harbor. So far there has been 3,000,000+ walks for over 6000 shelters in all 50 states!
Cyberbullying through polls is cowardice
by Alexandra Chiasson
As technology is constantly progressing, social media is becoming more of a primary form of communication. In many instances, social media can be beneficial. It provides a quick and easy way to reach out to others and share memories through photos, videos, etc. However, social media can also be used as a weapon. Often times, social media allows people to bully others while hiding behind a screen to avoid confrontation. Hateful words or videos can be put out for everyone to see, effecting the target on a much larger scale. This form of harassment is often called cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is mostly seen in middle school and high school: 43% of teens between the ages of 13 and 17 have been cyberbullied in the course of one year. Cyberbullying ranges from mean text messages to twitter pages created to make fun of people. It comes in all forms and each form negatively affects the target(s).
Cyberbullying is a larger issue in private schools.
With a small community, cyberbullying becomes a trend. Unfortunately, St. Joe’s is a perfect example. There have been multiple accounts on both instagram and twitter anonymously made to attack students. In 2014,there was an instagram account made to post pictures of girls with rude captions attacking their integrity.
More recently, a twitter account was made to take polls from students to hurt their classmates. Polls such as “Which one is a bigger poser?” or “Are the freshmen girls too nice or slutty?” were posted and it encouraged other students to vote.This account took one step further by allowing other students to participate,expanding the number of cyberbullies. As a small school, rumors began to fly and all conversations turned to gossip.The ironic fact is that St. Joe’s teaches their students to live as Christ would. There is even a value system that addresses spirituality, humility, generosity, respect, acceptance,integrity, accountability, and commitment.
Cyberbullying attacks all of those values and goes against the teachings of this Catholic school. Students uniting to attack other students opposes all that we stand for. This is clearly an issue that needs to be fixed.The problem cannot be fixed just by shutting down these accounts because new ones can easily be made. The problem needs to be fixed by the students. Those who laugh at these accounts and support them are just as guilty as the students who created them. Therefore, every student needs to work to fix this pressing issue.
Here are a few blunt, but very truthful facts about cyberbullying that any expert can verify; cyberbullying to attack others is cowardly and immature, these “jokes” are put out for everyone to see and it can ruin someone’s reputation and life, and school should be a safe environment for everyone, but cyberbully creates an unsafe environment.
If our small community accepts these facts and realizes how terrible cyberbullying is, the school would be a better place. As students, we should unite through faith, not bullying. We need to look out for eachother and take a stand against the bullies who don’t seem to understand the negative impact they have on the community. Each individual can start by asking themselves this simple question; “how would you like if you were the target of cyber-bullying.” I guarantee every studentwould think about their actions as soon as they ask themselves that question. If you are readingthis, be that first change in your community. Be the one to stand against bullying and support your fellow classmates.
Several reasons why Santa should put a puppy under the tree for Christmas
by Courtney Wood, 6th grade
One of the most enduring friendships in history - dogs and their people, people and their dogs.
Dogs are gifts that you know will always love you, and will always be there for you. They help you through times of hardship, loss, and grief. These companions are very valuable to have in your life, especially throughout childhood. There are never-ending reasons to own a dog; however, I cannot explain them all but here are a few. As children grow, dogs can help to increase empathy and compassion, raise self esteem, instill a sense of responsibility, reduce anxiety, and help children to be more active.
Parents worry about what will happen to the dog when the children go off to college. They worry about the responsibilities falling on them, and the money that will be spent on the dog.
So parents, when your children are pre-teens and want a dog, what do you do? Your children will be going off to college in seven years, and in most cases the dog will not have passed away by then. There are two good options: 1) when the time comes you could sell the dog, or 2) you could make a deal with your child that they would work through high school, so that they would have enough money to get an apartment, where they could take care of the dog in college.
Most colleges require students to live at least one year in the dorms, so you would still have to watch the dog for one year. Your children could make it even easier for you by buying a self-replenishable feeder and training the dog to poop in a pile of mulch where it would decompose and you wouldn't have to pick it up, etc.
Many parents have had experiences in which their child swore that they would take care of the dog, but after a while they started to neglect their duties. As a parent, it is hard to be sure if your child is ready for the responsibility. Here are some questions that you should ask yourself when deciding if your child is ready. Does your child have any pet, and if so how do they care for it? Is your child taking school seriously, and retaining good grades? Is your child responsible, and do they procracinate? If the answer is yes to all of these things, you should give your child a chance, and I bet it would mean the world to them.
Dogs can get to be fairly pricey, and you may be concerned about the initial cost and overall supplies. If your child really wants a dog then they would be willing to do a lot of stuff in order to get on. Talk to your child, they may be willing to save up on birthdays and holidays. Over a few years your child may have enough money to buy a dog themself, so the initial cost wouldn’t be a problem.
If your child can solve these three problems, they are ready. Dogs can make your kid’s childhood ten times better if you just give them a chance.
The Challenger staff wishes you a very blessed Christmas!